KAINANTU, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (14 February 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Australia, as well as Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) National Department of Health and Eastern Highlands Provincial Health Authority participated in an inauguration ceremony for the Jaffa Community Health Post, which was built under the ADB-supported Rural Primary Health Services Delivery Project.
ADB Country Director for PNG Mr. David Hill and other provincial government officials led the ribbon cutting at the event, along with representatives from the Australian government. The event was witnessed by members of ADB’s Board of Directors during their visit to the country, which included Executive Directors Mr. Kshatrapati Shivaji, Mr. In-chang Song, Mr. Kris Panday, and Alternate Executive Directors Mr. Scott Dawson, Mr. Mario Di Maio, and Mr. Jin Lu.
The project, supported by ADB, the governments of Australia and PNG, and the OPEC Fund for International Development, is delivering high quality health services to PNG's rural population across eight provinces. The main beneficiaries of improved rural health services will be women and children.
“The Jaffa Community Health Post is the 22nd health post to be built by the project. We are delighted to partner with the Government of PNG to support the improved delivery of essential health services to the Kainantu community,” said Mr. Hill. “The project is helping PNG’s Department of Health strengthen the health system and address inequities in health service access.”
After the ceremony, officials met with members of the local Kainantu community at Jaffa, a village of approximately 10,000 people located in the Eastern Highlands who previously had to travel for two hours to reach the nearest hospital. Officials also met with members of Susu Mamas, a local nonprofit organization, who are training village health volunteers in the Eastern Highlands to conduct demand generation for maternal and child health services.
In addition to revitalizing the rural health infrastructure network, the project has also supported the training of more than 300 health workers, supported the development of national standards on rural health services and maternal and reproductive health, and developed a digital health information system, which collects real-time health service data for disease surveillance. In addition to the Eastern Highlands, the project is also supporting rural health services in Milne Bay, East Sepik, Enga, Western Highlands, West New Britain, Morobe provinces and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.